Apparel tech pack service in Ho Chi Minh City

How much does an apparel tech pack cost in Vietnam?

Newcomers to the garment industry underestimate the value of a tech pack. Even the most basic t-shirt has around 27 decision points starting with the name of your brand to your quality control checklist. Design, fit, seaming and accessorizing a garment requires training that is not easily gained by watching videos on the Internet. There is a reason why professional tech packers charge 500 to 2,000 U.S. dollars to make a tech pack. It requires expert knowledge and 5 to 20 hours to complete.

I have been scouting tech pack freelancers since I started working as a fashion start-up consultant 10 years ago. I am surprised how many of them don’t list their fees. The reason is that the amount of work varies depending on the style of garment and how well you know what you want. One reason I like Belinda at is that she lists her tech packing fees clearly.

Patternworks also has a clear price listing that includes services like pattern making, digitization, grading and prototyping. Note their price for Spec Sheets which is another way to say tech packs. The price is: “call for quote.”

I asked Diep who is a tech pack freelancer based in Vietnam and she explained that the price depends on the purpose of the tech pack. "Some of my customers, they just want to have their proto-sample made in their local tailor to get a physical sample in hand. The tailors are skilled enough to work off a simple tech pack and they don't need details like care label instructions, packing instructions, grading, sewing construction or testing requirements. to review and consider again in a line meeting. These prototype tech packs for tailors can be pretty simple and cost is less than $US 500."

Diep went on to say, "on the other hand, a proper production tech pack that will be used through all stages of production from quoting the price based on size medium to final quality control checks, the value is more than $US500 depending on the complexity of the garment. I have made full production tech packs for a fashion top for $US500 and a ski jacket for $1,500."

I am not a professional tech packer but I wanted to save money and create a tech pack for my branded sublimated t-shirt.

I started building my own tech pack based on excel tech packs I found online. I started filling in the cells and quickly realized that I did not know what to put into the excel form. I needed more and more time to study. 20 hours later I felt like I had more questions than answers. Given that my hourly rate is 50 U.S. dollars per hour my opportunity costs had reached 2,000 U.S. dollars and didn’t have a complete tech pack yet. Don’t let that happen to you. Hire a professional to guide you and get the job done ASAP. Or, budget to spend at least 50 hours of your time to DIY. Don’t underestimate the value of a tech pack and dedicate enough time and money to do it well.

If I pay, will the sewing factory give me the tech pack for my garment?

The first question to ask is, who makes the tech packs? Usually it's the brand as will be explained later.

If you, the brand, have no intention of creating a tech pack then the factory will make it. Sewing factories must make a tech pack for their own internal production processing. Will they give you their tech pack? Most likely not. It's their property and they fear that you will take their tech pack to another factory. Factories will make the tech pack in-house but they won’t give it to you. Why should they? They spent the money to get it done. All you are paying for is mass production.

Even if you offer to pay, most factories will not accept payment nor will they give you their tech pack. They are not in the business of tech pack creation.

I recommend you don't let a factory make your tech pack. You will be at their mercy. If one week into working with a factory, the factory refuses your order or their price is too high then you have to go to another factory - with no tech pack - and repeat the whole process. You could lose weeks of precious time worth thousands of dollars. So, arrive at the factory with your tech packs in hand.

Diep, who has worked in Vietnamese factories as a technical designer tells us how it is usually done. Most big brands create their own tech packs. In fact, big brands have teams of people working on one tech pack. Each team member is updating different parts of a tech pack. Designers update flat sketches. Pattern makers update measurements and merchandisers update the trims and accessory details. Big brands make a lot of changes during development and they manage the evolution of the tech pack through stages: proto-sample, fit sample and pre-production sample. In this case the brand clearly owns the tech pack.

Diep goes on to say, "brands do not allow us to update to their tech packs. We can only make suggestions. The tech pack is a brand intellectual property. I cannot imagine any brand letting the factory "take over" the tech pack."

Diep's advice to fashion start-ups is, "it's mandatory for all start-up fashion brands to have tech packs when they're looking for manufacturers. First, It shows that you are professional and your looking for a professional cooperation. 2nd, factories see that you know and you care about your product and design. 3rd, the factory will quote a more accurate price. Finally, having tech packs save you and the factory time when making samples in pre-production stages."

Make your own tech packs or, if the factory makes them for you, don't expect the factory to give you the tech pack.